Q is always a difficult letter to center a meaningful post around. I do try to write something meaningful when I write.
Earlier this month I wrote a bit about listening Deepak Chopra’s reading of the Bhagavad Gita, and ever since then I have been mulling over thoughts about souls. I first read about the three natures at play this material world when I read the Bhagavad Gita in an Ancient Literature course. These three Gunas are Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas. I at first thought of them as upward, static, and descending trajectories in life. I have now come to understand them more as energies within each of us that we can either encourage or discourage by what we practice in life. Ultimately the path should take us away from manifestation of any or all Gunas, but realistically the increase of Sattva (which is delight, wellness, love, compassion, empathy, self-control, trust, calmness, bliss, gratitude, generosity, and kindness) is what yogis strive for so that this state allows one to enter a oneness beyond desire. Rajas is all about motion, emotion, desire, longing, and attachment. Tamas is darker, all about delusion, ignorance, and inertia.
So, anyway, thinking about this was rekindled a few days ago when I visited a friend who was a student of Rama Jyoti Vernon. She spoke about her desire to go beyond Gunas and endless cycling. It made me think about how many people focus on balance and peace and enlightenment? I wasn’t sure how to talk about this in the A to Z challenge but then a thought sparked an idea in me and I decided Q was the perfect letter for this.
Quislings as traitors, collaborators, certainly manifest Tamas or downward, lesser paths. In these days of political divisiveness, I have to believe that any extremism the focuses on hate, taking an easy path, because of laziness, or doing what is evil because is it on the path of least resistance, or because the thought required to determine a just path is just too difficult, is a downward trajectory.
Some might argue with me on any described as quintessential being a strong manifestation of Raja, but bear with me. Raja or this middle path is filled with attachment and attainment. Raja is about the middle ground and being happy with just attaining, moving, and doing. The profit at all costs business of Wall Street, political machinations to expand one’s own influence, and being busy for the sake of being busy in social circles is all energy that is going nowhere toward what counts in life. These are the perfect representations of Raja and as such are Quintessential Raja.
And then there is the upward path, Sattva, but it is not one of achieving perfection, but of being in a state of quietude and balance manifesting in good expressions of calm beauty and fairness. Intelligent and serene tranquility is not disregard or passivity, and as such I see it as a major reflection of Sattva.
So this is all neither here nor there but just my thoughts and where they went as I thought about the essence of life paths and energies, all the while simultaneously thinking about the letter Q and an A to Z challenge. Turns out these 3 Q’s help summarize the energies of life. Who knew?
Thank you, Nancy, I enjoyed this. I learned the meaning of the word quisling, but more to the point of your piece, “quintessential” made me think about Rajas in new ways. I had understood it as quintessentially worldly, but hadn’t thought about it as occupying a middle ground. The only example that gave me pause was that of the Wall Street profit-at-all costs mentality. Seems to me that might also be put in the Tamas category. And you reminded us that the quietude, the intelligent, serene tranquility of Sattva is not disregard or passivity. That is, it is not quietism. Peace, J
Josna, Thank you for your comment. I know the Wall Street example is a tough one to get our minds around. I see it as being busy to no real end. Money is a fictional concept which belief brings to life. All these people spinning about the world and really not going anywhere. I tend to see these people as lost but not inherently evil. Bad yes, evil not always.
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